4.5
12,327 votes

Cloud Gate

201 E Randolph St, Chicago, Illinois USA

Free
Free to Visit
Open Now
Mon 6a-11p
  • Independent
  • Pet Friendly
  • Wheelchair
    Accessible
  • Public
    Restrooms
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Iconic Attraction

Our Take

More commonly known as "The Bean" (for obvious reasons, just look at it), Cloud Gate is located at the AT&T Plaza at Millennium Park on the banks of Lake Michigan. Hordes of tourists surround it day and night, begging the question, "Did you even visit Chicago if you didn't take a selfie at The Bean?"

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“aka "the bean"”

Affectionately called, “The Bean” and what has become synonymous with the Chicago experience is Anish Kapoor’s Cloud Gate.

Cloud Gate was created by using computer technology to cut 168 massive stainless-steel plates into precise shapes which were then pieced together like a puzzle and welded shut. Once fully assembled, the 12-foot-high central arch provided a “gate” to the concave chamber on the underside of the sculpture prompting Kapoor to formally name the piece Cloud Gate. A network of two large internal rings connects a truss that allowed the sculpture to be assembled and direct the weight to two points at the base. The stainless-steel skin was attached to the internal structure with flexible connectors that allow it to expand and contract in response to the extreme weather conditions in Chicago. The cost of Cloud Gate was completely underwritten by the Millennium Park Foundation using funds from private donors.

Inspired by liquid mercury, it is one of the world’s largest permanent outdoor art installations. Its stainless-steel surface highly reflects the activity and lights of the park and surrounding city skyline, inviting visitors to touch and interact with its mirror-like surface and see their image reflected from a variety of perspectives.

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Reviewed by
Dana Newkirk

  • Road Warrior
  • 298 Reviews
  • 366 Helpful
July 02, 2014
Rated 3.0

It looks like a giant silver lima bean... in an awesome way, of course! You cannot visit Chicago without taking your picture in front of it, but you're going to have to fight your way through the crowds of tourists who are ALWAYS there. Regardless, you still have to do it, because it's a Chicago staple!

5 people found this review helpful

Reviewed by
Andrew Fickas

  • 30 Reviews
  • 30 Helpful
July 02, 2014
Rated 5.0

Didn't really understood this thing until I saw it in person. At first it just seemed like a big shiny bean. But when I got close, I realized how reflective it really is and the strange presence it has and was intrigued by all the different ways it warps space. I recommend standing directly under it and looking up and seeing if you can make sense of what you're seeing!

3 people found this review helpful

Reviewed by
Greg Newkirk

  • Expert
  • 314 Reviews
  • 365 Helpful
July 02, 2014
Rated 4.0

This thing is intimidating in the best way. Like Dave said, it almost looks like that ship from "Flight of the Navigator", and it's hard to appreciate the sheer size of this thing unless you see it in person. There's a reason it's become a symbol of Chicago.

When you visit, here's something to reflect on: how the hell does it stay so buffed and shiny?

2 people found this review helpful

Reviewed by
Greek_nomad

  • Road Warrior
  • 401 Reviews
  • 274 Helpful
September 21, 2014
Rated 5.0

A marvelous piece of art! Great reflections of the city's hazard and skyline!
Quite playful when you look from below. Just try to find yourself in between the massive pack of people coming to visit.

This sculpture is a landmark for Chicago and you shall not miss getting there. People from all over the world are attracted to it and it is normal as the structure itself is an eye candy.

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by
eric.weiss.79

  • 1 Review
  • 0 Helpful
September 15, 2014
Rated 5.0

Quite perplexing. Like a giant glob of liquid mercury (the artist's inspiration).

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by
Derek Neuland

  • Photographer
  • 297 Reviews
  • 140 Helpful
July 13, 2014
Rated 4.0

I saw "The Bean" in a million pictures so I always avoided it whenever I was in Chicago because it looked like a giant shiny tourist trap. Last year I finally relented and decided to see it for myself. While I still agree that it's a giant reflective tourist trap, it's pretty amazing. The crowd, especially on the weekend, is pretty crazy. It's almost guaranteed that you will get other people in your photos.

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by
Tatiana Danger

  • Road Warrior
  • 1,169 Reviews
  • 851 Helpful
July 12, 2014
Rated 4.0

Pictures of The Bean look great, regardless of angle. However, if you show up at sunrise and face East, you'll get a badass shot of the Bean with the sun rising behind the sculpture.

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by
Nick Philpott

  • Road Warrior
  • 160 Reviews
  • 132 Helpful
July 11, 2014
Rated 3.0

This thing is an artistic feat, not a seam to be found. It's one of the real marvels of Chicago. Downside is you'll have to wade through a crowd of other tourists leaning on it and being all "OHMYGOD TAKE MY PICTURE, LOOK IT'S LIKE A GIANT *MIRROR*!"

And that gets pretty old pretty fast.

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by
Chris Spinney Long

  • Tour Guide
  • 172 Reviews
  • 210 Helpful
July 11, 2014
Rated 4.0

What would a trip to Chicago be if you didn't get to post an instagram picture of you and your friends in front of the great shiny bean! Still it's pretty damn cool and the rest of the park has lots to see and explore. Totally worth the quick stop.

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by
Dave Doster

  • 133 Reviews
  • 121 Helpful
April 13, 2014

From a distance, it looks like an alien space ship has landed in Millennium Park. When you get closer, it looks like the aliens have done some sort of mind control on all the tourists as they all stand around it motionless. When you're next to it, you realize all the tourists are merely taking selfies against it's reflective surface. Science Fiction potential aside, it's something you need to see at least once before it takes off into outer space again.

1 person found this review helpful

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Cloud Gate

201 E Randolph St
Chicago, Illinois
USA

Hours

Open now until 11:00 pm
  • Sun - Sat: 6:00 am - 11:00 pm

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Good for Cultural travelers. Has a Design vibe.

  • Parking
  • Pets Allowed
  • Restrooms
  • Wifi
  • Wheelchair Accessible
  • Credit Cards Accepted
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